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Barnard Castle has ‘best year’ ever for tourists after Dominic Cummings row

In fact, 2021 was the "best year" ever for the castle, according to English Heritage which says it received 30,721 visitors, which is a 20 percent increase compared to 2019.

Castle made headlines during the pandemic when a former adviser to the prime minister said he had visited the attraction to have his eyes checked after suffering blindness due to the coronavirus before making the trip to London to return to work. Cummings said he believed he acted "reasonably" and within the law after traveling 260 miles from London with his family to the city of the same name.

Durham Police investigated the matter and did not take any further action. He later left his role in Downing Street. The only attraction that has seen a boost since Covid-19 restrictions ended.

English Heritage stated that many people took the opportunity to visit "local hidden gems". By 82 percent compared to 2019.

The site was made famous by King Charles II, who took refuge in it after defeat in the Civil War. He reputedly hid in an oak tree while Cromwell's soldiers searched for him. "This is a long and difficult pandemic, but there seems to be an upside to being that as people stay closer to their homes, they are discovering historical places nearby," said Kate Mafur, chief executive of English Heritage.

Rest Park in Bedfordshire, a stately 19th century home, also scored its best year. Buildings, monuments and historical sites across the country.

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